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July 7, 2015

Do Fringe and The X-Files take place in the same fictional universe?

by Mike Moody, posted Sep 21st 2009 8:02AM
fringe season two premiere x filesFringe isn't exactly the most original show on TV. Critics and audiences have been comparing it to The X-Files since it premiered last season. Like The X-Files, Fringe offers up creepy cases of the week and an overarching sci-fi conspiracy/mystery plot that helps build the show's rich mythology. In The X-Files, the conspiracy thread had something to do with shady government officials working with aliens and black tar – or something like that. In Fringe, it's called "The Pattern," a series of unexplainable events all seemingly connected to one William Bell and his company, Massive Dynamic.

Show creators Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman and J.J. Abrams have acknowledged the influence of The X-Files on their show, but do Fringe and The X-Files actually take place in the same fictional universe?


During last week's premiere, there was a reference to the "X designation" during Broyles' meeting with the senators about the future of the Fringe division. It seemed like the senator was comparing how "the old X designation" and the Fringe division were both draining federal funds by investigating the unknown and unexplained. Was the senator talking about Mulder and Scully's X-Files?

It's likely that Abrams and crew were only paying tribute to one of their influences, like the scene in the apartment with the guy actually watching The X-Files on TV. Still, it's fun to think that Peter, Olivia and Walter could actually be carrying on Mulder and Scully's work at the FBI. I wouldn't be surprised if the Smoking Man showed up in season three.

Watch the Fringe premiere again -- or for the first time -- below or at SlashControl:

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